RCMP deem P.E.I. school threat 'not credible'

RCMP have determined a threat to schools in the province is "not credible."

Schools province-wide were put under evacuation order Wednesday

Charlottetown police Const. Tim Keizer speaks with parents, staff and students outside Colonel Gray High School in on Wednesday following the school evacuation order in P.E.I. (Shane Ross/CBC)

RCMP have determined a threat to schools in the province is "not credible."

Schools province-wide were put under evacuation order Wednesday after police received a threat claiming bombs were placed in a number of schools.

Police said no one was injured in the course of the evacuation.

School buses pull away from Spring Park School in Charlottetown following the evacuation order. (CBC)

The threat — received by fax to RCMP in Ottawa — didn't specify any particular schools, but it did say the bombs would be detonated Wednesday, RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie told a news conference in Charlottetown.

Three campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College were also evacuated Wednesday because of a bomb threat.

Police said they are looking into whether the P.E.I. and Nova Scotia threats are linked.

"Behind the scenes there's a whole investigation going on in regards to possible related incidents and to try to track down the person or persons who made this threat," said Baillie.

He said a number of units from both federal and provincial RCMP are involved in the investigation.

At a news conference in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau assured citizens that "all local authorities are deploying all necessary resources to this ongoing operation."

"As a parent, I know how worrisome this type of situation can be and I know that the affected parents must be having a very difficult day," he said. "We continue to monitor the situation closely."

RCMP Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie told media about the bomb threat that led to the evacuation order. (CBC)

P.E.I. has 62 public schools and close to 20,000 students.

Baillie said the evacuations went well, though he said there was some confusion in some areas as to the locations of the safe places.

"When something like this happens, certainly we want to apprehend the person responsible," he said, "but we'll all look at maybe what we can do better the next time."

P.E.I. Education Minister Doug Currie, who was in St. John's for meetings on Wednesday, said the department is working with the RCMP to determine the next steps.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time that we've had a provincial evacuation, obviously quite concerning," he said. "The priority now is to get a formal assessment of the validity and the nature of the threat."

Police in Winnipeg are also investigating a threat faxed to the city's largest school division on Wednesday.